LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Monday, August 3, 2009

Three Woodpeckers

Do you ever take a photograph and then totally forget about it? I took the following photograph on June 5. Yesterday I was moving some photographs to my portable hard drive and took a closer look at this one. At first glance I had thought it was a Red-bellied Woodpecker feeding a fledgling. The quality was not good, so I never posted it. The quality is obviously no better than before, but the subject is different from my first impression.

There are actually three woodpeckers in the photograph. The one being fed has more red than one would expect on a fledgling and looks more like a female. The bird on the upper right appears to be the fledgling.

I have never observed feeding as courtship behavior among these woodpeckers, so I don't know just what this means. I would appreciate any information you might have.

The bird being fed looks almost like an older fledgling beginning to get some red, but it's hard to believe it would be that old on June 5. Perhaps the color came early. Assuming it is a fledgling, then the photograph is a parent with two fledglings. What do you think?

I apologize again for the poor quality of the photograph, but it's what we have.



17 comments:

JStantonChandler said...

Just being able to capture three woodpeckers at once is a reward in itself! I think the quality is just fine :) I'm glad you shared this!

~Jen

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

Carolyn you just amaze me capturing these birds! I think the pic is awesome but don't know whose who or what's going on!

Busy Bee Suz said...

I love that picture!!!
I had some baby woodpeckers in the yard this weekend, they are so cute.

Cedar ... said...

To photograph one is good but to get three in one shot is outstanding!

Appalachian Lady said...

Nice shot--I think the woodpecker in the middle is the parent. The one on the left looks like a male because his head is only partially red.

dAwN said...

Wow..interesting capture! A family for sure!
Not often you find three birds together like that!

Cheryl said...

I think the quality of the photograph is good. How wonderful to capture three woodpeckers together. I have never seen this.

I get lots of woodpeckers here and have never been able to get a photograph. At the moment the green woodpecker is visiting my garden....and I am so frustrated, everytime I lift my camera he flies......

Have a good week......

KB said...

My books don't mention feeding as a courtship behavior for this species, and I've never seen it in our woodpeckers (we don't have Red-bellied). But, I think that you're right about it being one parent feeding another, perhaps courting her before producing a second brood?

You capture great moments in your photos.

scienceguy288 said...

I don't think that I would be able to forget about this one! Spectacular capture!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

That's a great catch Carolyn!

troutbirder said...

Its certainly a captivating shot whatever it's all about. Maybe just a family picnic?

carolr said...

What a great shot. I adore wathing birds, and you have some pics that I adore. My personal goal: to see an owl, especially a Great-Horned, but at this point, I'd be happy with a screech.

marmee said...

just stopping by and checking in...don't know what this is about. but i love that you were able to see these three guys so close together.

Tina said...

Wow, I would give up a little pic quality to get that action shot!! I think it is difficult to capture woodpeckers doing anything than hanging on a peanut feeder/suet but...feeding another is a rare shot. Kudos to you for getting three. I would say that is a photo worth saving and posting...Thanks!

Shelley said...

I think its wonderful you were able to capture all 3! Nice family!!

Kelly said...

hahaha! Glad it's not just me. I forget about photos before I get home sometimes. Lovely captures. I would have liked to have seen this in person.

Leedra said...

A neat capture, no matter the quality of it. To just see 3 in one tree, but the one feeding the other. Reminds me of the Cardinals, but a woodpecker....really nice.